Allan and I shed a few winter kilograms this weekend preparing the balcony for PPO's return. We scrubbed the railing, tidied the floor, dusted off Teeny's owl box and put up the netting that prevents the chicks from slipping through the railing gaps and falling two stories.
The result is an immaculate 'palace' for Pot Plant Owl that will rival any 5-star hotel in the world. And why, you may ask, would we go to all this trouble for owls that will only poop and pellet-drop all sorts of things onto the balcony? Simple. A woman likes a tidy house - Pot Plant Owl is no different. To prove the point, Pot Plant Owl arrived last night and promptly made scrapings in not one, not two, but three pot plants on the balcony. I believe it's her way of saying "Now that the place looks pretty again, let me test all the pot plants and see which one fits."
Of course we don't want to encourage any other nest apart from the original pot(potted) plant. It is by far the safest one - being on the garden side of the balcony as opposed to the driveway / road side of the far pot plants. Still, if it was easy to coax owls into 'safer' nesting areas, we would have already been successful when we attempted to offer PPO the owl box. The owl box remained untouched for a couple of years, and it was only Teeny last year who worked out how valuable it can be -especially in the rain.
Our winter this year is colder than usual, so I hope that PPO takes her time in nesting. I think September will be a better choice because we are still getting cold snaps now. Of course, now that I have put the message out there to not come in August, our sometimes stubborn PPO mother will take great delight in laying her eggs this week.
It's a waiting game at any rate. Fingers crossed that we have the priviledge again this year to play 'hosts' to these magnificent birds of prey.